Monday, August 30, 2010


I liked Germany for its history, modern and old architecture, everyone stays out late and things stay open late, and beer (yep, I actually liked it).

Berlin (2 Days)
Went on a walking tour of Berlin, focusing mainly on post WW2 and the Berlin Wall... Fascinating! I want to go back for more tours. Loved seeing all the modern architecture and what they've built down town where the wall once stood - almost like going into the future. Stayed at a really cool hostel, the Grand Hostel Berlin. Not as cool as Mosaic House, but definitely the second best place we staying on the trip.

Bamberg (1 Day)
BEER. That's the reason we visited this quaint German town. They have 10 breweries in the town limits and Will's favorite beer - rauchbier (smoke beer) which they brew especially in one brewery in this small town. We spent our time hitting four breweries and walking around the old town in-between each. And I drank a beer at every brewery with Will. We'll be working off our beer bellies from now until Christmas.

Munich (2 Days)
Visited the first, oldest, and longest used German concentration camp, Dacau, just outside Munich. It was very dreary and rainy that day, which made the place all the more somber. Ninety-nine percent of German leaders were trained at Dacau and prisoners of all backgrounds were sent there - Jews, Roma (gypsies), homosexuals, anyone against the Nazis. Aside from this difficult tour, we met up with an old friend of Will's from childhood and did some last minute shopping before getting on the train to the airport.

(Pictures are coming soon...)

Friday, August 27, 2010

What you need to know about...


If you're headed to Prague any time ever, whether you're 19 and wanting the cool hostel experience or 90 and needing a quiet night's sleep, the place to stay is Mosaic House. Best place we stayed in all of Europe! Honestly! Check it out online. Just click on MOSAIC HOUSE.

Tell them Will Porter sent you. His friends run the place.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


For Will, Prague is like going home. For me, it was like going home with Will for the first time. We spent time with old friends, ate at Will´s favorite spots, and went to Will´s church. As many of you know, we´ve been talking about moving to Prague in the next year or two (God willing) and many people have asked me, now that I´ve been there, if I still want to move there... Yes. It felt like home with friends and church and a heart at ease. So please keep us getting to Prague in your prayers. I visited several international schools, talked to some people, dropped come CV´s (resumes). We´ll see!

What I loved about Prague...

It has the most beautiful architecture of any city we´ve visited in Europe.

Cool friends.

Real church.

The castle, the pubs, and other cool places to hang out.


Good summer weather... not too hot and not too cold.

So if we move to Prague, who is coming to visit?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"I could live here."

Those were Will's words in each city we visited in Austria. It's where Motzart and The Sound of Music come from. And the hills really are alive... The Alps there are gorgeous! Things we liked best about Austria...

Another cool castle... even went in the torture chamber.

Our best meal on the trip so far.

Trick fountains that got you a bit wet.

Clean city.

Beautiful architecture.

Things we'll go back to Austria to do when we have more time...


Mountain biking.

Things to do now...

Look up international schools in Austria. :)

(Pictures will have to come later, but you can google Innsbruck and Salzburg if interested now.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Clean like Switzerland.

Beautiful lakes and mountains.

Great English speakers.

Stayed in a 100+ year old house with creaking floors.

Hitched a ride to the train station with a very nice lady.

Walked in the rain to a castle.

Watched a movie in a castle.

Walked cobble stone streets looking at very old buildings.

Would definitely go back to see more.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back on the grid!

The last few countries have been a bit more difficult to find internet, but we're finally back online. Here's the scoop from Greece, Albania & Montenegro, and Croatia...


This is my favorite country of the trip so far... Beautiful rocky coastline, medieval towns still in use, and really helpful and friendly people. I definitely recommend visiting Croatia.

Our itinerary:

Dubrovnik (2 Days)
Stayed at a small guesthouse which was basically a woman renting rooms from her home. Walked all over the city. The Old Town sits on the coast line surrounded by ancient walls and not a single car on the cobble stone streets. Scars from the 1990's war can be seen from the new roof shingles and the bullet holes in the sides of buildings. Found a cozy little nook on the rocky beach to be alone. Aqua blue waters. Talked to the parents on skype from the steps of a Medieval church in the Old City.

Split (2 Days)
Saw the Roman ruins of this original Roman settlement as well as the changes to the city from Medieval times and modern day. Walked all along the coastline, stopping at each beach to take a dip in the sea and cool off from the heat. Got a bit of sunburn. Ate really good vegetarian pizza with corn on it. Got my nose pierced. Ate gelato for the 20th time on this trip.

Zagreb (1 Day)
Walked all around the city, which was really quite beatiful. A city Will and I could live in, we thought. Streets in the middle of the city had no people on them. Idealic European apartment architecture. Rolling hills and mountains. Slept in a hostel that was a bit of a young party scene. Woke up ready to go to Slovenia and relax for a couple days.

Albania Adventure

Four days of our trip were unplanned. We wanted to go from Greece to Croatia, but the countries in between are off the grid, meaning not on the rail system. So we planned to figure it out when we got there. This is what we ended up figuring...

From Thessolaniki, Greece we hopped on a bus to Tirana, Albania. Getting on the bus, everything looked great - our bus driver spoke English, the lady at the office was super helpful and nice. But when we got on the bus, our seat numbers 27 and 28 didn't exist. There was a 26 and a 29, but no 27 and 28. Our bus driver, who treated us like his special guests, squared it away for us and off we went on our expected 8 hour bus ride. Almost 12 hours later, we arrived in the excommunist center of Albania, which looked like China buildings with European people. Albania was very interesting because communism only ended in 1991, so old bomb shelter bunkers are scattered all over the country side and the buildings in the middle of town have communist stars and soldiers still hanging on their walls. Using our Lonely Planet Travel Guide, we quickly found a hostel, walked the town a bit, found a bite to eat, and finally found someone to help us figure out how to get to Montenegro, the next country between us and Croatia. We hopped a mini-bus, which was just a really nice Kenyan matatu, to Shkoder, the closest Albanian city to the border. From there, we got a taxi, whose driver must have learned to drive from Kenyan matatu drivers, to Montenegro. He drove us across the border to Bar, Montenegro without crashing into anyone, although there were many close calls. A train to Kotor, Montenegro finally got us to a place where we could sleep for a few nights.

Montenegro was beautiful and had very amazing Old Towns from medieval times, but that's a seperate story. Let me finish by saying two nights in Montenegro were relaxing until we hopped back on a bus to Croatia. The border from Hell awaited us, but again we had a crazy driver who took our big bus around the 2 kilometer line and we had finally made it to Croatia!


After 16 hours on a ferry from Italy, we made it to Patra Greece. Another hour and a half by bus, then one more hour by train, and we made it to Piraeus, the port city next to Athens. Here we laid our heads for a night before jumping on another ferry for Santorini Island. This Greek island was just like the pictures... beautiful, idealic, and hot. We rented a scooter and drove around the whole island. Our favorite parts - black sand beaches, much cheaper than Western Europe where we'd been, wearing a swimming suit all day, and the views! The views were amazing!

After Santorini we headed back to Athens, where we spent Will's birthday watching the sunset from the top of the Acropolis overlooking the entire city. We even stood on the rock where St. Paul is said to have preached and converted some of the first Greek Christians. Athens is kind of a dump of a city, the junkiest and most grafitti we've seen on our trip, but the ruins and history are still worth seeing.

On to Meteora we went to see an unusual rock forest where Byzantine monks built 23 monostaries. How they built these monestaries I have no idea because you would need rock climbing equipment to reach the top of some of these cliffs. Luckily for us, there are now trails and roads, so we hiked to the six active monestaries that still survive. This was seriously one of the coolest places Will or I have ever been. The history, the rocks, the views... We saw a Greek Bible written in 939. It doesn't get much cooler than that!

Our last night in Greece was Thessaloniki. This wasn't originally in our plan, but it was a jumping off point to get to Albania, which is a story in and of itself. In Thessolaniki I just kept thinking that two books of the Bible are written to the people here who have a beautiful port city. Mostly, we just noticed the shopping and the huge ships, but it was a nice city and we had a comfortable bed to lay our heads. Then it was off to Albania...